Review: Gramercy Tools Saw Handle Makers Rasp

I spent the whole day in the shop today with plans to finally install the leg vise on my Roubo bench, but before I got into that ordeal (turning my bench over to saw the parallel guide mortise in the base of the leg, among other steps) I wanted to repair the tote on a nice Disston #12 I got over the summer.

This particular #12 I found at the same old barn where I got my nice little Tillotson carcase saw (which I rehabed here). I cleaned up the plate of the #12 when I first got it, but have not had a chance to fix the tote…it was missing its entire lower section and need a glued in chunk of apple to repair.

So, one night this week after work I glued in the repair piece and set it aside to cure, all the while with plans to finally try out my newest tool on this repair….the Gramercy Tools Saw Handle Makers Rasp.

It seems the good people at  ToolsForWorkingWood believe that saw makers deserve their own rasp to shape the handles of their wares, and if you’ve ever shaped a saw tote with regular cabinet rasps (as I have many times) then you know the frustration incurred. You see, this rasp is unique in that it curves along the last few inches of its length to allow the user to avoid gouging the opposing face of the tote when working the insides of the handle web. Take a look…

I should note that I was the oh so fortunate recipient of this rasp as a gift from my WoodNet Secret Santa, as well. What the heck is a WoodNet Secret Santa? Well, if you don’t know WoodNet, then you’re missing out. Its an online woodworking forum that is quite frankly, the coolest damn place to hang out and talk wood online. Do yourself a favor and check it out. And next year, make a point of joining the Secret Santa hoopla…unless, of course, you have something against free tools?

So anyway, back to the tote. All I can say, is that after I roughed out the shape of the repair at the band saw and spindle sander, the normal drudgery of shaping the roundovers and blending the curves of the handle turned into the most smooth, precise exercise I’ve undertaken in quite some time.

The Gramercy rasp cut very smooth and left a finish that only needed to be touched up with 120 and then 220 grit paper before finishing. And not once did I bang the nose of the tool onto the opposing edges when working the curves inside the hand web…which is a common occurence with straight rasps despite my best efforts. Not only that, but the curved nose of the rasp helped round the edges better than a straight rasp…kind of like it was made for rounding edges. Brilliant!

This is undoubtedly one of those tools that once I use it, I wonder how the hell I ever got anything done without it! What normally was a process of roughing with my 4-in-1 and then refining with various cheap Borg rasps, was now accomplished in a fraction of the time, and leaving a better finish, with the Gramercy rasp.

Well, I’m sold. I can’t wait to make my next tote!

Here’s a shot of the work in progress…

So, if you like to make saw totes, or repair then often, do yourself a favor….get one of these bad boys! Scower the couch cushions, raid the kids college fund, steal the offering from church, just do whatever you can and get one. You can thank me later.

Oh, and thanks Santa…you are most certainly, The Man!

🙂  Matt

Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 7:47 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Matt …….. Very cool that is on my short list of tools to purchase. That handle looks great, are you going to add any Wheat Carving to it or just leave it ? I think it will look whatever you do. Thanks for your blogs and tutorials I really do enjoy them.


  2. The wheat carving is indeed done Steve…I’ll post a pic as soon as the finish is dry! 🙂

  3. That is cool as hell,Matt. Don’t you get tired of showing off? :)) Seriously, that is one nice looking handle and one pretty cool rasp. If you want to come over and show me how to use it, I’ll throw you a saw or 12.

  4. Thanks Dave. You’re on! 🙂

  5. What would you recommend for a first handsaw to a beginning hand tool woodworker. I am trying to build up some tools and I dont have a hand saw yet.

    • Ken,

      I would say that depends on what kind of work you are doing and how you work. Are you mostly a power tool woodworker? Do you just want a basic backsaw for joinery and small cutting tasks?

      If so, I’d say a nice dovetail saw from Lie-Nielsen, Veritas, Wenzloff, or Gramercy would be a great place to start. If you want somethign a little bigger, then a 12 inch back saw would fit the bill.

      If you’re looking for a saw to do more breaking down, dimensioning and ripping stock, then a rip or cross cut panel saw from Lie-Nielsen or Wenzloff would be tops.

      Good luck!

  6. Hi Matt. Got ta get me one of those rasps.


  7. […] pics of my latest saw rehab…I finally finished the handle on that Disston #12 from the  GramercyToolsSawHandleMakersRasp  post a little while […]

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